I do not like the new Tide 2X. No matter how little I use, soap remains in dense fabrics, such as towels, and I can’t get it out. My daughter and I both have noticed that our clothes feel “itchy” with the new Tide. I have used Tide all my life, but I may have to change to something else, since I can no longer get “regular” Tide. Have others noticed this also?
Judy, Salt Lake City, UT
I used this product on a shirt of my husbands that had a new stain on the front. Bottom line stain is still there, I’ve used other products that worked much better than this one did. I would not recommend this product to anyone.
Miata, Waverly, NE
Companies don’t like to hear comments like these, or worse learn such comments are being shared with other people.
But those quotes weren’t pulled from a focus group nor from blogs, they were available on Tide’s home page from actual customers providing feedback regarding Tide’s products.
To take things a step further, Tide provides a slew of product reviews for all of its products so consumers can make an educated decision about the product in which they are interested.
In a time when consumers are asking for transparency (see SC Johnson’s new campaign about their ingredients) and using the social web (ie Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Blogs) to share their thoughts, you have three choices:
- Ignore it and hope it goes away. (It won’t)
- Listen to what people are saying and respond in a defensive manner
- Embrace it and use it to make your products better and your brand more trusted.
Let me know what companies you think are being brave in their marketing.
When an idea speaks to its audience so clearly, it catches your attention.
It doesn’t have to come from an international ad agency or global ideation company. In fact, an idea that resonates with its audience can come from anywhere.
Case in point: The VAS MADNESS promotion from The Urology Team in Austin, TX. They have extended their hours during March to encourage men who may be considering a vasectomy to do it during the NCAA’s March Madness so they can recover while watching basketball all weekend.
While the creative execution might be lacking, you can’t argue with the idea. The number of men looking for any excuse to sit and watch basketball all weekend is significant. The Urology Team just tapped into that desire and gave men who were considering the procedure a reason to have it now.
With so many ways to tap into your audience like social media, surveys, blogs, forums and good old-fashioned conversations, I am sure there are many ideas that you can develop to connect with your customer base.
Who knows – maybe it will come to you during March Madness.
To learn more about using social media for greater consumer insight attend IIR’s Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies conference. To learn more visit http://bit.ly/d7mUWG and use code XM2205SMB to save 15%.
Many experts predict that new habits created in this current economic downturn will be long lasting. A recent article in US News by Rick Newman highlights the 17 ways consumer habits have changed. The impact is far reaching in regard to what people buy as well as how they buy.
The consumer is volunteering more, becoming more self-sufficient and doing away with the excesses they once “had to have”. Now is the time for you to rethink how you connect with consumers in your effort to meet their needs.
Here are Newman’s 17 Ways Consumers Are Changing:
- Less credit, more cash
- It is no longer about the monthly payment, but the total cost
- Greater suspicion of banks and business
- Being more resourceful
- Less brand loyalty
- Smaller is bigger
- Renting is popular again
- Less window shopping
- More closet shopping
- Food frugality
- More gardening
- Less waste
- Less healthcare
- More negotiating
- More volunteering
- Redefining success
Consider how you can help simplify the consumer’s life. For example, proactively call your customers when it’s time for their next appointment or service, instead of sending them a reminder notice and waiting for them to reach out to you.
The more you can do to make that connection, the better your business will adjust to this new consumer.
FYI – lowering your price is not the answer.
Two years ago, who would have thought Coke and Energizer could ever be cast aside by retailers?
Well – it’s happening.
Costco recently announced it was no longer selling Coca-Cola products as a result of a price battle. CVS is dropping most Energizer products and will only carry Duracell and its private label. Following this trend, Wal-Mart continues to move towards its product mix goal of one top brand, one value brand and its private label.
Costco is betting people will continue to come to Costco and buy alternatives to Coke. CVS has used its customer shopping data to predict a minimal sales drop if they no longer sell Energizer.
What should all businesses take away from this?
Few brands are indispensable to the customer. In fact, you know your customers could find a pretty good alternative if you were no longer in business.
So what can you do to become as close to indispensable as possible?
Know your customers
- Why do they choose to buy your product/service?
- What do you offer them that they can’t get anywhere else?
- Why do they buy from your competitors if you aren’t available?
- What do your competitors offer that you don’t?
- How are they using your product or service?
- How do they use your competitor’s product or service?
(These questions can be easily answered through one-on-one interviews and quantified through online research.)
Know your competition
- What are they offering that you don’t?
- What makes them unique in the market?
- Do they partner with other companies?
Upon learning about your customers, develop service offerings that they can only get from your company. Some ideas could be:
- Special hours
- Rewards programs
- Loyal customer specials
- Packaged service offering
- Something extra every time they do business with you (for example, a local Chinese restaurant gives you an extra appetizer as their way of saying thank you)
Why no mention of lowering prices on these lists? Making your brand indispensable is not about price; it is about creating value that your audience can not receive anywhere else.
How are you creating value to make your brand indispensable?
Post your comments so others can learn from what you are doing.